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date: 02 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The myriad theonyms preserved in inscriptions reflect the diversity of Roman Britain’s inhabitants, but only a limited range of rites—mainly vows and curses—contributed to the epigraphic corpus. These practices were drawn from Roman religious tradition, framing concepts of deity and structuring interactions with the divine. Adherents belonged to different segments of provincial society, but the ‘community of soldiers’ is disproportionately represented. The act of naming has long been viewed as the key to unlocking the origins and identities of provincial deities, but consideration of the larger social, temporal, and geographic context of text-bearing ritual objects is essential for understanding how some members of Britannia’s populace recognized and communicated with their gods.

Keywords: religion, epigraphy, theonyms, vows, curses, altars, defixiones, tot rings, double-named deities

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